What did I get myself into??

You guys!!! I just got myself into something that I never in a million years thought I would!!!! I am a nervous wreck and scared to death, but also crazy excited! Here is a little back story to what happened yesterday.


Earlier this spring, my daughter was training for a jiu-jitsu tournament. She was loving every minute of training for it and was doing really well. One day, while I was sitting there watching her, I got a little urge to want to compete. I am, by nature, a pretty competitive person. I started daydreaming a little bit about what it would be like to compete at a tournament. I went through a few scenarios in my head of what could happen. Now, mind you, this was just a small regional tournament. Nothing major. Probably just a few adults in my division. No big deal, right? Well, apparently, for me, it was a big deal.


I was asking one of the other girls if she was going to compete at that one. She said she wasn’t this time. But, she did say she was going to go to help coach the kids. Then she got a grin on her face and told me I should compete. I laughed it off and said I wasn’t ready to compete. There’s no way I could handle that. I wasn’t good enough. She just kind of snorted and brushed it off. She told me I should try it. I told her I would think about it. And think about it is what I did.


And that is all I did. I chickened out. I went to the tournament and watched my baby girl win her first gold medal. I was so proud of her! She was so excited! I loved every minute of it. Yes, she is making a weird face. This is her very big personality coming through!

RaeLynne gold medal

Looking back, I’m super glad I decided not to compete at that tournament. I was more than happy to be able to relax and just watch my little human do what she loves to do. She did amazingly well and was so completely proud of herself for what she accomplished. This momma was overjoyed that she had been rewarded for all the hard work she was putting in on the mats. My heart felt like it was going to burst with excitement for her.


So, fast forward through the summer. Last week, after a three-hour training session with my amazing jiu-jitsu team, the word was spread that there was a new tournament coming to Minnesota. It was a tournament sanctioned through the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, or IBJJF. From what everyone was saying, these are the best tournaments to go to. They have some of the best competitors in the world, they go by strict rules for the divisions, and the referees are the best ones out there. We sat around for quite a while after class talking about this tournament.


I asked if anyone was going to compete at it. I assumed the people who compete regularly would be going to the tournament. A couple of my training partners stated they would like to compete at this tournament, especially since it was the first one like this in the state. Normally the closest tournament like this takes place in Chicago. That’s quite a drive for anyone from our dojo. So, after a little more small-talk and whatnot, the training partner who tried to talk me into the last tournament pipes up. Her exact words were, “Brittany, you need to compete in this one!”


I had no idea what to say. My face went white, and my heart started racing. I told her I wasn’t good enough to compete in an international tournament. She just smiled. My coach looked at me and said “I think everyone should compete at least once.” I was dumbfounded. I have no idea what I’m doing on a mat! I know I have a blue belt, but I still feel so insecure and overwhelmed on the mat. I feel like I know NOTHING. And that’s what I told them both. I told them that I don’t think I know enough to be out there with a bunch of blue belt women from all around the world! This was a huge deal!


After some more attempted convincing from my coach and my teammate, I told them I would think about it. BUT, I would only think about it if our Professor approved of my going. Wouldn’t you know it, but our Professor walked around the corner at that very moment and asked what he was supposed to be approving. My teammates all grinned and my coach calmly looked at our Professor and said, “Brittany wants to compete at the tournament.”


I was so embarrassed! I didn’t know what to say. My face got bright red. I wished I could have just disappeared. My Professor got a huge smile on his face and said, “I approve!”


I didn’t know what to say or do. I said thank you and told him I would think about it. He told me not to let anyone pressure me into competing, but that he did think it was a good idea. He said to think about it, but to train like I was planning to compete. I told him I could do that.


I went home that night and asked my husband about it. He told me that he thought it was a good idea, but that it was my decision and he wasn’t going to sway me either way. He wasn’t much help! So, I thought about it and prayed about it for an entire week. I kept thinking about what my kids would think. Would they like that I’m competing? Would it inspire them to get outside of their comfort zones and do something out of the ordinary? I have three little girls that I’m supposed to be a role model for. Would this help them or hinder them? Many, many things were rolling around in my crazy little mind.


I went back to training last night. I told my coach and my teammates that I had been thinking about it, and that I had finally made up my mind to compete at the tournament. They were so excited and supportive! I absolutely love my team! No one can ask for a better team, coach, and Professor than what we have. They are the best in more ways than one!


Today is the day after I made my big decision. I feel like I’m going to puke. I am so nervous!! I don’t know what to do with myself. I was terrible at training last night. I couldn’t get anything to work properly, and I was tapped out multiple times. I’m hoping I didn’t make a massive mistake by committing to compete. I know my teammates will be there for me, but, right now, that doesn’t make it any less scary. Why did I pick an international tournament to start out my competition career?! Who does that???!!!


So, now that I have officially committed to a tournament, it is time to get to work. Not only on my jiu-jitsu, but also on my nerves and my mind. I’m hoping to have myself under control well before the tournament, but you never know how your mind is going to react until you are in the moment. If any of you have any good experience with having to calm your mind at an event, I would love to hear the stories! Post them in the comments for me please!


I am hoping to keep all of you updated fairly regularly on this process. Keep your eyes peeled and pray for me, please!! I’m going to need it!!

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